It has become commonplace for veteran actors to make public appeals for support to take care of their health or general well-being. And while for veteran actor, Fred Amugi, it is unfortunate, he believes some of the actors are the architects of their own woes.
Speaking with Graphic Showbiz last week, Fred Amugi, who at 71 is still in active business, encouraged actors to be honest and live good lives.
“It’s heartbreaking, it’s sad to hear or see it happening but some come from us and with some, nature takes its course as we grow. I am saying this because look at my good friend Emmanuel Armah who suffered a stroke, this is something that has happened to him because of old age.
“However, there are others whose names I don’t want to mention that have caused their own situation as it is now.
“If you go about taking monies from producers /directors and you don’t work or you take money from a sponsor and fail to work then naturally, bad words from such mouths can have an effect on you.
“If you throw a ball to the wall, it bounces back at you so you reap what you sow. Some have gone about degrading others thinking that it will make them rise but instead of rising, they fail because they don’t want their fellow actors to move forward.
“God being who He is, if you don’t make your friend move forward, you don’t move. Some are stuck because they have done damages to their fellow actors/actresses and nature is taking a toll on them.
“Sometimes, I pity people but when I hear what is happening to others, I tell myself they have brought it upon themselves. Being truthful to the job also helps you live long and saves you from certain bad happenings.
“If you are truthful with people you work with, if you are humble enough to do things that will benefit everybody, that is the way to go,” he stated.
When Graphic Showbiz asked Fred Amugi what measures he was putting in place to ensure he wouldn’t have to beg to put food on his table, this was his response.
“I have two sons; one is an architect, the other is a self-made business man so now, even if I don’t depend on acting fees, I think I have done enough for them to do something to make me live longer in comfort.
“I am somebody who is quite religious and I believe that when you do the right thing, God keeps you well. I know I have never left my God in all the things I do, I may be a bad person, but when it comes to my religion, I never leave God’s work.
“He is part of everything that I do; I am a chorister, I am a church elder, a Presbyter and I think God keeps me because I have time for Him.
“I’m not boasting but no matter what I do, I have time for God’s work as well. Just have time for God and He will hold you up when things are not going well.”
To up and coming actors, Fred Amugi had this word for them. “Never rush; luckily in this industry, age is not counted, you have a role to play when it comes to acting.
“Look at the soap operas from South America that people rush to watch, we have actors of all ages in them. There is a parlance here in Ghana that a home without an elder is not a home and a home without a child is not a home.
“If we have an industry and we don’t have all ages to play roles that will make the community know that they can see themselves in there, then we are not doing well.
“To producers and directors, I would say use people of the right ages to play roles instead of painting faces of young men and women to play old folks. You can’t cheat nature, about 98 per cent of the time, your voice will even give you away because you can’t sustain who you are not,” he said.